Movement Capture or Movement Strategy? A Critical Race History Exchange on the Beginnings of Brown v. Board.
|dc.identifier.citation||Movement Capture or Movement Strategy? A Critical Race History Exchange on the Beginnings of Brown v. Board, 31 Yale Journal of Law & the Humanities 520 (2021).||en_US|
|dc.description.abstract||In 2019, Megan Ming Francis published a path-breaking article challenging the conventional wisdom in the field on a core piece of civil rights history: the role of a philanthropic foundation called the American Fund for Public Service, also known as the Garland Fund, in working alongside the NAACP to produce the organization's famous litigation campaign leading to Brown v. Board of Education. Starting in the late 1920s and early 1930s, education came to occupy a central place in the NAACP's agenda, and education desegregation became the focus of its efforts to break the back ofJim Crow. In Francis'sp rovocative account, the predominantly white Garland Fund captured the agenda of the civil rights organization through its financial influence, shifting the organization's central focus from racial violence toward education equality. An organization that had been focused on protecting Black lives from white violence reoriented its attention to a new campaign, which siphoned off resources from other projects, such as workers' economic rights and Black labor concerns. In this exchange, Francis and legal historian John Fabian Witt debate exactly who captured whom in the relationship between the NAACP and the Garland Fund. Their exchange engages method and substance in the history of civil rights. Among other things, Witt contends that the NAACP's leadership also subtly coopted the Garland Fund's resources and turned them toward the civil rights organization's preexisting objectives rather than vice versa. In Witt's account, the NAACP figured out how to advance its agenda through the Garland Fund, and the efforts of the two organizations became co-joined. The Francis-Witt debate has important implications for our understanding of the paths taken and not taken during the civil rights movement, how social mobilization came to focus on formal legal doctrine rather than concrete social or political ends, and whether the law can truly be turned against systems of oppression. Whichever account is correct, the aftereffects of the NAACP-Garland Fund relationship still reverberate today. The exchange proceeds with an opening statement by Francis, and reply by Witt, and a surreply by Francis, and a closing note from Witt.||en_US|
|dc.publisher||Yale Journal of Law & the Humanities||en_US|
|dc.title||Movement Capture or Movement Strategy? A Critical Race History Exchange on the Beginnings of Brown v. Board.||en_US|